David Thomas RIBA. RSMA.

Born in Devon, but moving when eleven to Yorkshire and remaining there for most of his life, David trained as an architect in Huddersfield School of Architecture. He showed an early drawing ability and developed his hobby of watercolour painting in parallel with his career as an architect.

His father, a BBC engineer, moved his family as he achieved successive promotions, but always created a workshop on arrival at each house, where he made items of furniture and radio cabinets. David has continued this pattern by designing and making furniture in his workshop, a converted garage. Since retirement in 1997 he has also made prototypes of an easel, a browser and a walking frame, which have in common unusual folding mechanisms.

In February 2015 Search Press published his book 'Drawing and Painting Portraits in Watercolour'. He has had paintings hung in the Mall Galleries and Bankside Gallery, most recently at The Royal Portrait Open Exhibition in 2016 and again in 2017, when he also achieved selection for the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. The painting 'Spoleto' received the Neil Meacher Award for an Outstanding Watercolour.

He has had four commissions from the Royal Portrait Society, including one to paint a portrait of Jonathan Ball (co-designer of the Eden Project) and his wife.

In 2023 he was elected a member of The Royal Society of Marine Artists.

He runs a weekly watercolour class at Little Weighton Village Hall.

Learn to Paint

For more than two years I have been running a weekly watercolour class at Little Weighton Village Hall. New members are welcome at all skill levels. Learn more by pressing the button.


The subtlety of watercolour in my view makes it an ideal medium for portraiture, especially when the subjects are children. I am always willing to be contacted to discuss portrait commissions, which require only one visit to collect the necessary material. Prices are reasonable, and negotiable. Other types of commissions can be undertaken, such as houses and landscapes